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Convex Optionality, Fat Tails, Antifragile, Math Puzzle, GMOs, Risk Minds, Smear Campaigns, Eggplant

Let me rephrase the point of Antifragile (via Facebook) and put some clarity in the discussions. The idea is to be chance, “risk”, and uncertainty loving where chance, “risk” and uncertainty are beneficial, and risk averse in domains with ruin problems.

The ancients understood how both courage and prudence were virtues, and how there was no incompatibility between the two –simply they didn’t apply to the same domain. (More on that, soon).

The “verbalistic” takes over rather quickly. Many people don’t nuance risk properly, especially when educated: they conflate it with variations and think that *exposure to ruin* and *risk taking* belong to the same category. They are not the same animal. Concave is not convex, fragile is not antifragile; fat tails are not thin tails, etc.

What I just wrote seems trivial, but if you take a look at the not yet dismissed “scholarly” but in fact verbalistic and verbose literature (Cass Susstein-style, particularly about “nudging”), it seems largely resting on ill-defined terms and conflated concepts. We keep seeing bigwigs conflating Ebola with falling from ladders, GMOs with agriculture, etc., leading to misdefinition of rationality.

Just a brief stop for some clarity. Have a nice weekend.


People can only be social friends if (via Facebook) they don’t ty to outsmart one another. Indeed, the classical art of conversation is to avoid any imbalance as in Baldassare Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier: people need to be equal, at least for the purpose of the conversation, otherwise it fails. It has to be hierarchy free and equal in contribution. You’d rather have dinner with your friends than with your professor, unless of course your professor understands “the art” of the conversation.

Indeed, one can generalize and define a community as a space within which many rules of competition and hierarchy are lifted, where the collective prevails over one’s interest. Of course there will be tension with the outside, but that’s another discussion. This idea of competition lifted within a group or a tribe was the idea of the late Elenor Ostrom.

This is brilliant! (via Facebook)
I swallow my reluctance to TED and TEDx to show this wonderful message on how fake grassroots are built on social media and…how easy it is to spot!

In this eye-opening talk, veteran investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson shows how astroturf, or…



Friends, Ralph Nader called me recently (via Facebook) to warn me that I was going to be subjected to a smear campaign by Monsanto and friends, throwing anything they can to undermine my credibility, “throwing everything except the kitchen sink”. They care so much about their business there is nothing they wouldn’t throw at me. Nothing. He, himself, was subjected to a nasty smear campaign by GM fifty years ago.

Fughedabout the “victim” business. And it is not about enemies building you up, that’s not the point. There a *real thrill* feeling that you are risking something for your ideas. The more risk, the more skin-in-the-game, the more thrill.

The more they attack you, the more skin-in-the-game, the more you feel honorable. I cannot describe the sentiment: all I can say is that it is the exact opposite of shame.


Thanks all for the help, (via Facebook) the persistence, and the unwavering fight against BS vending. Looks like our precautionary principle paper was used as back-up for the decision by the supreme court of the Philippines against GMOs.

People get rigorous arguments; trying to repress truth and logic is like trying to keep a balloon under water, or Fat Tony away from the fridge.

Looks like a combination of persistence and … f*** you money (which I repeat is is not about money but the moral attitude towards bullying authorities) works.…/5495025

The Philippines Supreme Court permanently halted the field testing for genetically modified eggplant, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), upholding the decision of the Court…

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